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Book TV After Words

Cynthia Lowen Education. (2012) 'Bully An Action Plan for Teachers, Parents and Communities to Combat the Bullying Crisis.'

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  CSPAN    Book TV After Words    Cynthia Lowen  Education.  (2012) 'Bully An Action Plan for  
   Teachers, Parents and Communities to Combat the Bullying...  

    December 17, 2012
    12:00 - 12:59am EST  

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i'm going to talk about three different men tonight. one of you all know his name, abraham lincoln. the other two, henry clay, great kentucky statesman. ..
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the producer of the wildly acclaimed and really important new documentary, "bully." and the co-editor of the book by the same title. both of which about our nation's dirty little secret about bullying in schools across america. both of the movie and the book put a human face face on what it's about, what impact skids on both sides and on the sidelines and their families. so, thank you so much, cynthia, for being here today.
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why don't we start with you telling us a little bit about yourself. how did you get here? how did you get drawn into the issue? y "bully," why now? >> guest: i come from a background as a writer and when i was in school i was one of those kids who was really shy, and i tried to sail under the radar and i was someone that solid taking place around me and i didn't know what to do about it. and as all of us i think in this country were starting to see people coming out and talking about their experience of this phenomenon that so many of us have experienced in one way or another and had no words for it other than adolescents other than growing up. finally people were starting to stand back and say hold on, this isn't actually a normal part of growing up, this isn't a normal right of passage. i think there was a moment when
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there was a possibility for change, and the director and i decided to start the film out of the feeling that voices were kind of bubbling up coming to the surface to say this isn't something that we can accept any more as a normal part of our culture. in the spring of 2009 and april of the month it was after two young people took their own lives, one outside atlanta and carvel walker hoover outside of springfield massachusetts. and both of those tragedies really i think ignited a national recognition of what had been going on for so long and we were seeing parents right into the message boards and every news story that came out in the comment section hundreds of parents for saying my spirit is going through this from kids themselves saying i'm going through this and i feel helpless and i don't know what to do from
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educators writing and saying we don't know how to handle this, we don't have the tools to respond to this coming and we decided at the time to start meeting the kids and families and educators on the front lines of this issue. >> host: so, why -- what is the difference between teasing and bullying? is everything bad that happens to a kid bullying, or is there some global definition of bullying that really works? >> guest: everyone will be teased and if there are things that are good-natured and teasing is a part of our way of communicating with each other and not all bullying, not every fight is a case of bullying.
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there are instances where there will be conflict where too many kids fight and there will be violence, and that isn't necessarily bullying. it is when there is an indifference in power when the target doesn't have the ability to make a stop, when it is something that is going on over time continued abuse which the endgame is to isolate them come to humiliate them and prevent them from being a part of the community. >> host: and is bullying something that is mainly or just about words? is it just physical; is there a justification? >> guest: today i think we are seeing that it takes all different kinds of forms. parents ask me today's bullying worse than it's ever been before? and i feel that we have heard a
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lot about cyber bullying. there is a lot of awareness growing in which it is finding sort of new platforms and new ways to place. while that is absolutely a significant piece of the picture, the gold good old fashioned bullying is still quite alive and well and it is something that is happening in physical interactions. in the bully we see every every time he gets on the school bus he's pretty likely to be he is great be shoved or pushed by someone. she may be coped with pencils or pushed out of a seat. he is going to hear things. people are going to call him names and that is something that's very prevalent. among girls it can be ostriches asian. it can be everyone in the grade has decided to throw a party and somehow, you know, you are made very aware that you were not invited to test.
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so social exclusion is a good part of it and then online passing pictures, spreading rumors, so i think it takes a lot of different kinds of forms. i fink what underscores bullying and why it is so hard to work out is that it is about social dynamics and social hierarchy and the relationships between kids and adolescence but particularly in middle school where they are figuring out how to use their social power it is complicated. the child who may be the most popular person on their sports team may be the same person who is bullied when they get on the bus so it is the social dynamic of the group and those dynamics are always changing. so i think that is part of what makes it really not just kind of one thing that we can say this
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is bad and we need to stop it wherever we see it. and we need to understand what's taking place and when kids who are really sophisticated in a lot of understanding the dynamics of who has power and who doesn't. >> host: how prevalent is bullying? can you give some information about how likely children generally are to face bullying and also whether there is a special population of kids who are particularly vulnerable? >> guest: absolutely. we know 13 million kids will be bullied in the united states this year, last year. that's a lot of kids. we know that kids who are lgbt are four times more likely to be bullied than other kids. >> and they are gay, transgendered, bisexual,
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transgendered or perceived to be. >> guest: absolutely. kids don't necessarily have to identify as day to be picked on or harassed for not setting the gender stereotypes. that is another big part of the picture. another population that is very vulnerable are the kids with autism. a high number of kids on the autism spectrum are bullied often. kids that are at the height, with a call - sharing autism they are mean streamed into schools so they have great grades, they look like everybody else, and yet they have a disability that invisible and which plays out in social context of not understanding social science, of not understanding that behavior's that someone may be doing our bullying and not from a ship so they are at risk. >> host: you describe in the book that kids with special
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needs for them bullying is a pandemic. it's that prevalent. >> guest: absolutely. you know, one of the things that aside from the kids with autism, kids with learning disabilities, kids with dyslexia we have an essay by joe debt talks a bit about having gone through his adolescence and they're being kind of bullying all over the place and it's playing out in the community but realizing later in life that he's dyslexic and i think a lot of adults now that i did we have a lot more awareness they look back on their time going through middle school, going through high school where they were considered to be stupid or not intelligent or made fun of for what we now understand is a learning disability. >> host: just to clarify for the viewers who is joe?
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>> guest: she is a well-known actor who is probably most well known for his role on the sopranos, the sort of irony. >> host: and as you mentioned junior high school kids. is there a subset in junior high school that's particularly vulnerable? >> guest: what we know about what is happening in junior hockey and what makes it such a hot spot is kids' brains are changing and literally there frontal cortex is rearranging and their behaviors are more impulsive. any of us that have been there or have kids that are there can feel like my child has turned into a total deily in -- total alien. just learning how to process things. and what happens is you can make
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a lot of decisions you look back on leader and think i really didn't think that one through. another thing that is really happening at that point is the influence of pierce is becoming more important than the influence of the family or parents so there is a shift that takes place in who the kind of important elements are and where they are looking for support and acceptance and i think that is what makes some of the power for popularity really feel like this kind of almost life or death thing when you are in middle school if you have been ostracized no one will invite you to things did you feel like the entire world has turned against you. what we see taking place online and on the internet since that the entire world knows something about you to or doesn't like you can really snowballed very
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quickly when messages are being spread on facebook or text messaging and things like that. >> host: so it's really about difference, kids that are perceived as different perhaps in whatever way, shape or form it is. i sure that there is bullying that goes on of kids who are perceived as overweight or underweight or of one national origin or another. i know here in new york we had several incidences where some sick kids -- s-i-k-h were targeted by police and physically assaulted. as it is about a way of not
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coming to terms with differences is their anything about the families of kids who are bullied that allowed any sort of conclusions to be drawn or does this come across like all different kinds? >> guest: families are a huge part of the picture across the spectrum of kids who are bullied and are bystanders and who manifest bullying behavior's and i think that is one of the things that is needed when we look at. we can't just focus on what happens for the hours that kids are at school. i feel that there's been a huge amount of pressure put on educators to address bullying and there are the laws passed in the varying degrees of effectiveness that have mandated that schools must be aware of this issue and they must be
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providing for professional development and we've got into the point over a very short period of time really since 2009 where i think schools see the responsibility in regards to this issue in a totally different light. with that said, i think that bringing parents into the fold and working with parents remains really difficult. i think that schools are scared if they admit there is a problem taking place that they will be attacked or they may be liable to lawsuits. i think they feel very vulnerable in their ability to say we have a problem here, we need help, we need schools and we are trying to work on this. so i think that parents of kids can be in power in a lot of different ways. i think that one of the things we see in "bully" is alex doesn't tell his parents come and this is absolutely what
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happens. parents do not necessarily know what's going on with their kids when they walk onto the bus when they are at school, and i did that often kids will know when their parents are under stress if there is a lot going on at home and parents are busy. if, you know, the communication isn't great or even if the communication is great, often kids are ashamed, they are afraid that either their parents will take him seriously or if they do take them seriously that they're going to march into school and do something that's great to meet the situation even worse, and in situations where kids don't trust that the adults are going to be given to make the situation better or make it stop without actually making them feel more alienated or making the bullies know that they've told someone in such a way that now it is going to get even worse, kids don't want to tell. and i think that kids don't
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necessarily even want to proceed with is going on as bullied. so one of the things for the parents that suspect their kids might be bullied or any parent is to find a way to talk to their kids about what's going on at school in a way that isn't necessarily saying are you being bullied? >> host: well, you know, you raise an interesting point. it kind of rolls off the tongue, finding ways to talk to your cade about what's going on in school and to identify with their various bullying going on. but i think that it's probably fair to say that most parents would give their left arm to not do that. what kind of suggestions you have for parents to help their kids talk to them? >> guest: it gets harder as kids get older and very much want independence so i think
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that the different levels of the questions and the conversations can be more or less direct. i think for kids that are at under stages or at the end of elementary school it can be much easier to broach the topic. questions or conversations about who fits in with the group, who is sort of playing with two? who seems to be ostracized? i think those questions can be answered more directly for kids who are younger. when kids get to middle school it's more roundabout. i think one way of getting a sense of the social fabric looks like at a school is asking questions about the cliches. i.t. kids are fascinated by changing cliches, changing social dynamics, how the different groups identified themselves. i think asking some questions or kind of getting a sense through the conversations about what is that social fabric looking like,
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where do you feel like you fit in? where do you feel like you are not wanted or who argue intimidated by? >> host: can you give exceed those of questions that you think work for kids? we all know that -- are you being bullied in school doesn't work. >> guest: because they are like no, definitely not. i think questions around things like drama. is their drama going on in your group? if you have a group of kids do you know someone isn't there, where is jeneane today? what's going on with her? is everything okay between the two of you? i think some of the questions that i brought up before, how do the kids kind of breakdown, who is wearing what? what do you call the different kids in the group?
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how do they identify and what are some of the things they do together, they don't do come in and who is part of that group? simple questions like who use it without lunch? some kids will be open to answering that and some won't. i did those are some ways to get into it. after-school activities. what are some of the things available? what interests you if your child was interested in something and then suddenly seems to be withdrawing from that i would definitely probe a little further. maybe it is just that their passion has changed their interests change. that's happening all the time that maybe there is a group dynamic in the activity that's become toxic somehow. >> host: when you say that it's the responsibility that all parents in we know they have a tough time finding out that's
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the given, but the object of finding out what's going on in school is in part to know whether your kid is being hurt, terrorist, bullied but it's also i would imagine important for all parents whether or not their kids are being bullied to find out what their kids role is in the social fabric. parents i've sure that there are lots of parents who think their kids are perfectly happy in school and it turns out that they may have -- the mabey a bully. was the atmosphere like the boss? is it fun? >> guest: where do you sit on the school bus? that is a great question.
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i think you will find a lot of kids sit -- in my school bus you didn't go to the back of the school bus unless you really wanted to get. so i was at the front of the bus because i was terrified of what was going on back there. so, i think that is a great question we can learn a lot about that system is like by what's going on, where do you sit? where do you feel safe? i also think parents kind of know a lot more about the social dynamics within the groups of kids that will come to their house after school or they will see on the weekends or they will drive. i think just being involved in their child's life and making sure that they are there for dinner every night. i think family dinners are a really important time where it is possible for parents to be there.
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often it isn't possible when they are working or have other equipment but making that time to make sure that there is a safe place at home where even when i remember when i was in high school i would go through the last thing in the world wanted to do is sit down to dinner but i knew that is what we did every night and just by the fact that we were going to spend that time to gather things come out. so i think that it's important. right now there are incredible pressures on families, and i think it can be very, very difficult to be able to take the time to just sort of stop and put down the iphone, the computer culture in the tv off and just sort of the present and that is just one way that some of those -- some of that information, feelings and patterns are things that seem to be out of whack.
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>> host: when you were making the documentary, they're came a moment when you took off your hat. that was with alex. tell us about that. >> guest: we were aware that he was being bullied on the school bus, and it was something that was escalating under the course of the school year. we had let the school know early in the school year on the very first day that he had been punched on the bus on his first ride to school and their response was sort of yeah school buses are pretty rough, they are bad. but nothing was done, and as we were witnessing alex getting bullied more severely over the course of this year, and as we knew things were happening when
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we were not there we can to the point where we knew that on the one hand, our response to the film and in partnership with alex going through this for years in elementary school in the one hand the response of these to be a to z this is what kids are going through a this is what it looks like and we are not going to blossom this over. on the letter hand, the response of these to alex and his family when the school didn't intervene after we continued to tell them the dynamic was dangerous for him we decided we had to show them the footage to make sure they knew exactly what we were talking about >> host: so you are a filmmaker but a person first, and you made the decision to abandon your film maker and
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become the responsible bystander that you talk about in the movie and in the book to be so important in getting things under control and helping the kids not to be victimized by bullying. there's one group of people i just want to ask about quickly which is school resource officers, school safety officers, police in schools they operate with a lot of different hats. just quickly before we take a quick break, what role did they play and are they sometimes a part of the problem? >> guest: and alex's school there was a resource officer two doors down from the assistant principal who didn't report any of the assaults, any of this behavior to the school resource officer.
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i think the school resource officer in the cases can be a great resource. not that you want to create a record for someone in middle school. but you want them to know there are consequences to this behavior and the consequences only get real as you get older so the liaison i think between the consequences that behavior can have when kids are younger and that are changing in the making impulsive decisions in their ability to say you know what? i have to be responsible for my actions and these are not beavers i can do. couscous of the response of the adults that are supposed to be their helping the kids, protecting them, respecting them is critical isn't it to what happens to these kids. i think we will take a quick break now and come back and talk more about some of the solutions
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to the problem. this is -- bullying is probably easier to spot than it is to fix and i think that if we don't take a comprehensive approach sometimes we can make things worse and our kids are too precious, aren't they? okay so we will take a break now and we will be right back. >> host: let's talk a little bit more about school resource
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officers and safety officers. >> guest: i think they play an important role when they start to escalate into situations where you have text messaging, where it is happening over on facebook or where it is involving more serious incidents of physical assault. one thing i think parents find is when they have tried to resolve a situation through the school or if they have gone to a facebook ct page and has reported what's taking place on facebook and it's still continuing i think that turning to police for help is something that can be of importance for parents to take, however i think what often happens is that these instances are looked at as something that is taking place along the kids that's beneath
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the role of the police department to deal with. i think the perception can often be that they have much more important things to deal with even for school resource officers often it is more to be working with kids who are already in the juvenile justice system to serve as a liaison with in the school for issues like that and not necessarily dealing with behavioral things as they, to be fighting fit if schools can partner with police departments to educate them about bullying, together about investigating instances of this many police departments in the united states are developing cyber crimes unit so that they are equipped to say okay we can figure out where this message came from and with the computer's address was and taken out where some of these things are coming from i think that can be a helpful tool for parents that have gotten to that point they feel helpless and like they
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have investigated a lot of the alleys that they have to try to resolve the situation that is precious and persistent. >> host: where you have police officers stationed for example there are 5,000 of them, do you ever hear about how they interact with students and are there ever problems with school safety officers actually being bullies themselves? >> guest: there are instances where teachers are found to be harassing their students. i think absolutely those things happen and i think that we don't want to have officers in the schools to intimidate kids. we want officers in the schools
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in the situations where they are needed to keep kids safe or to provide some kind of helpful direction that help them resolve things before they get to the point where they are 18-years-old at the at risk of having a record that can really damage them for life. >> host: how do you inoculate the officers and the teachers for that matter against being part of the problem? what's important for them by way of rules or training to ensure they have the tools and that they are accountable for protecting the kids and helping them through this? >> guest: i think it is the same thing that comes down to what happens in the building where all of the adults in the building take it seriously and it's a lot culture. i don't think that it's about -- we are not going to do these the
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years because those are bullying. i think it's about looking at the overall picture of what is the culture and the climate in the school and i think that one of the things we know is that strong leadership really starts at the top, that principals have a great deal of influence over how all of the adults in the building treat only the kids about each other. there are buildings like the school that we saw where you have a principal who intimidates all of the people underneath in this case it was the man underneath him and saw what happened in that school is that it was normal for people to feel scared and intimidated and because the teachers and the assistant principal fault it herself, there wasn't a ton of empathy when they saw it taking place because it was something that seemed like an inevitable part of the social fabric of the school.
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however, when you are in a school where the leadership is different where there is a more lateral approach where people feel safe, where the hierarchy is not jury stringent and constantly reinforced there is a lot more opportunity for kids to be protected and a lot more opportunity for adults to say i need resources, i need help, i need support and to get the kind of tools the need. so, for instance, and alex's situation again, we saw that his bus driver saw this going on the and we knew she heard it but she didn't pullover. bus drivers, recess aids, those that serve lunch to your kids are often in the schools hierarchy at the low end of the totem pole. they are not incorporated in the school, they are not incorporated in the same way teachers are coming in as a result of which they often don't
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feel like they can take a timeout or will be supported if they stopped the bus, then what happens when they are 15 minutes late to school? so we think it's about realizing everyone, not just sro teachers have a role to play coffin and the hot spots in schools are those that are looked over by those that are given the least amount of authority and wins kids recognize someone isn't being respected they don't give them respect either. host koza the hot spots from the cafeteria and the locker room and the school bus and those are places to watch out for and it's also essential for the school principal to make sure not just
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the folks that work in those places and the adults that were there are accountable for what goes on but that they knew they have the opportunity to be heard in the obligation to speak with the school leadership about what's going on. that's a really i think important point. there are so many different players in our society and therefore in the issue of bullying. why don't you give a couple of tips. give us a couple tips that a student can do to reduce the likelihood of bullying or to respond in a situation >> guest: this is one of the reasons the we wanted to create
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this because this is one of the things the we do in the film is i think we do a good job of making people aware of the extent to which this is happening and that is a crisis that it is not okay to accept. what we wanted to do in the book is to be to provide people in place to go when you get to that point you see the film and say okay we need tools to do this now what are the tools? so one of the things a member of the contributors to the book talk about our what can you do from various perspectives come from the perspective of the parent and from the perspective of kids who are bystanders or even police themselves or from the perspective of educators so i think one of the things from the kid's perspective is that there's a lot of power in numbers and i think where you can have a social dynamic if you
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are a young person who knows you have some social cachet in your circle in your social dynamic you may feel more comfortable than those around you and more confident. i think for kids to have that confidence and who know their influential among their peers i think for those kids to be educated about bullying come for them to say i want to be a student leader and i am committed to standing up, one of the contributors to the book talks about being brave against bullying and that there are wristbands that the american federation of teachers has made available so that any teacher who wants to can get the wristband on line and that they are now displaying a visible sign that kids know they are a safe person to go to and they are someone who has made a
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decision to prevent bullying and respond to it when they see it and visible signs like that not only for teachers and administrators i think those are really effective but i think also for young people there are a number of different kinds of creative things that you can do to make a visible sign to say i am a safe person for you to go to if you have been targeted. >> host: one of the things educators like to talk about is how kids like to be competent and helpful and i was impressed by the story in the book about how the president of new york city when he was teaching he would identify kids who were at risk and bring them into his classroom and ask his class to support them and work with them.
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it seemed like a kind of common sense but a brilliant approach to make everybody part of the solution. >> guest: absolutely. one of the things we see often with kids who have special needs or have a learning disability or autism so often the philosophy is to help give them tools to not be targeted or to make them less likely to be targeted. >> host: like avoiding a different situations? >> guest: different areas of school but we know kids are vulnerable and and there is little supervision but i think that is only one piece of the puzzle. >> host: it's a little bit of a cop-out, right? >> guest: if the had the disabilities that made them more likely to be bullied is the social disability, so i think that one of the things we have to do a better job of, and i
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think that the essay speaks to this is how do you educate the entire community about disability like autism or learning disabilities so that it's not up to the person who already is struggling to keep up or who is already struggling to navigate these hierarchies to make sure that everyone else knows this is what autism looks like and this is why kids with autism may respond differently. this is why someone may have a tick or half years i don't understand what we can see it happening. how can we get kids to be more aware of the differences among their and to say okay we are going to support this person and not ostracize the market on them because they are different because now we understand better what is going on. >> host: isn't some of this about building empathy? talk about that.
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>> host: absolutely. i think this was why our approach to the film is what it was and it's why we wanted to bring the same approach to the book. we feel this is an issue that so many of us know is going on. we know the numbers are extraordinary of kids that are being bullied but when it comes down to is really understanding what it means to have to wake up every day and to know that you are going to go to school and to know that you are scared about what's going to happen. so many of the people but have not only contributed to the book but the people that are in the film have never had the opportunity to tell their story before because either there was no one there to listen or it wasn't recognized as a problem or because they were ashamed or scared and what we wanted to do with this film is to give people the opportunity to respond to this issue and moved hearts and minds with the power of the
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story. and i think that that is another thing that has been effective not only in bullied but within in powering kids and helping to build bridges. >> host: so, you know, one of the standard and and helpful responses when one child hurts another including bullied is to say you're sorry. what do you think about that? >> guest: when someone is told to say they are sorry they are not sorry they did something to another person, they are sorry they got caught in the that is something of course again that we see in the film. >> host: so what is the effective way to bring the kids together to build the
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understanding that makes the child who has done the bullied understand the impact of what they have done and for there to be a positive outcome? >> guest: by and large the kids who are involved in the behavior they are not bad kids to get their kids who may be made a bad choice, they are kids who were may be under a lot of social pressure and wanted to fit in with the people around them were doing and i think that most have a pretty profound capacity for empathy. one of the things that happened with alex and we touch on this a little bit following up with the kids in the book after the film came out one of the really incredible things that happened with him is that when we screen the film and sioux city for the entire community, 1600 people came out before it was in
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theaters, the principal, the assistant principal, everyone came out and after the film some of the kids who had been involved in the bullied him kristen project page on youtube posting they were sorry about the had done and he received letters from some of the kids that bullied him so often sometimes i think what can happen is that kids don't see the entire picture. they may shut someone at the locker on their way to class in the morning but they don't know is that same person was called a name at lunch, they were not chosen to be a team with lagat and jim class. they were trapped on long haul on the way to their other classes and that it's not these big huge acts of violence that are the things that i think can really wear down young people and this was absolutely the case with tyler long, david and tina's long's son who took his
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own life, but was a constant pervasive presence of the smaller act and i think that when kids stop and get to have an opportunity to look at the whole picture, to look at the things they didn't necessarily know were going on the have a different sense of how their actions we have impacted that person and i think that is where a lot of the stories come in. i was just pushing him on the bus. well, you don't know all the other things that were happening there. >> host: so one of the i think serious aspect of bullying and dealing with bullying is the potential for the solution to be worse than the problem itself. i think you mentioned earlier that kids are afraid or
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reluctant to talk to their parents for fear they will make it worse taha but the solution isn't easy it's not just say that you are sorry or the promise he would do this again. how do we encourage -- what does it take to turn the school around? >> guest: it's hard. there is no one program. there is no silver bullet or tolerance policy. >> host: is zero tolerance a good thing? >> guest: if it is enacted without comprehensive commitment to professional development to working with kids to creating the opportunities i think schools can sometimes put out
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that they have a zero tolerance policy but not do the of their work and feel like we have our bases covered more in the event that maybe they have liability or something like that but aren't really doing the comprehensive work. i don't think it is effective unless you do a lot of the deep work of educating teachers, educating bus drivers, educating everyone in the building and having the kind of leader who can enroll the adults in the building to all feel this is something that is a priority for the school. we know that in situations where you don't have the support of the entire school community prevention programs what ever they are will fail so that is one thing that is important is enrollment among all of the adults. and as that reaches down to the students i think one of the things that we know is so
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critical with students and that we know from how they work is that the input of peers can often be more influential than those of adults or teachers so it can mean more when an upper class and is coming and speaking with them about this is the kind of culture that we have and this is how we resolve conflict. come to me if some of the spreading a rumor and we will work this out and this is -- >> host: i know you talk about a girl talk, something that she talks about is the importance of having older girls who can come talk to the younger girls and say we have all gone through this and it's really hard and it's going to happen and we have to find better ways to respond and to be competent. so i think that where you can
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get double rolling, and again getting kids that are confident that can start this and can make being a kind cooler than being cruel has a lot of influence over the entire school community and the third piece of the puzzle is getting parents involved. something that was one of the biggest surprises with the film is to get releases from all the parents of every parent of the children in the film signed a release for them to be in the film and as you can imagine the conversations or intense particularly when the parents of the kids who were doing some of the more severe bullying saw the footage the response was to not only let their kids beautiful because they wanted them to learn from what they saw and
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have the opportunity to see themselves behaving in a way that was important they were surprised they haven't been engaged by the school to a greater extent by the speakers so think sometimes schools can be hesitant to reach out to parents of kids because they know it's like opening a can of worms you're going to have to deal with parents that may be very defensive for angry but sometimes that can be the best phone call to you get in your life because if you don't know these are happening, if you don't know your sweet little child is getting on the bus and being a tyrant, you never have the opportunity to address it. >> host: it's in that context the difference between punishment and discipline.
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>> guest: i think that it's not about punishing in such a way as to shut down the conversation about how we developed understanding empathy and our actions and that is with the hope is for an intervention that's effective that it doesn't change the life of the person that is being targeted but hopefully change is the life of the person that is perpetrating. >> host: i was interested that there are a number of steps that are laid out in terms of the apology phase. i think one of the significant points the was made is that this is about shame for the way or the will lead but it's really about problem-solving and
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understanding and a big component here seems to be a refund was talking about -- aretha was talking about, r-e-s-p-e-c-t all around the school. how do you make that happen? >> guest: it is assessing what is going on in the communities. i think that again one of the things we notice in schools is that where there is a lot of hierarchy among the adults if you're likely to find that live among the kids and when it comes to respecting all of the members of the communities i think that that really happens in a lot of places it doesn't only happen in school, it happens on line, it
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happens and what we are seeing in the media, it happens in the ways in which we see your family treating each other and treating our neighbors, and i think we have to look at what are the kind of things that were to become we are modeling. you mentioned before that after -- death has been a lot of awareness and a lot of targeting kuran new york city. one of the very early film shoots the we did was around the data they were raising awareness about the bullying that they were experiencing, and it was as a result of a lot of the racism and attacks the we were seeing in the week of 9/11 and that muslim kids are being targeted and there were completed and that that was a reflection of
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what was going on nationally in our culture and our consciousness and communities where people no longer felt safe. so, it is a big picture and that is why it is tough to crack. >> host: it sure is. what i am hearing you say is that this is about creating a school climate that is safe for all kids, that all of the kids and the adults at whatever level they are working they are a part of the solution and we can't just dismiss this as kids will be kids or toughen up. this is about fundamental dignity, and it's about -- is unfortunately a lot life-and-death for some kids and
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the ways of far too many people losing their lives bullying by suicide has been a wake-up call to all of us. your book and the movie had a lot of resources in them. do you want to tell us about your website and some resources of orval in addition to the new york civil liberties union that has done some important litigation are of these issues and advocacy? list website? >> guest: www.thebullyproject. com. and we have done a lot of work since the film cannot even before the film cannot to build a broad partnership said coalitions that have enabled us to launch several different programs to provide by aides that go along with the film and that provide opportunities to get involved with the film and the social action campaign.
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>> host: people can get the book online. door website again is -- >> guest: www.thebullyproject. com and is available on amazon. >> host: that's great. amazon or www.thebullyproject.com. so, this has been quite interesting and i want to congratulate you and thank you on behalf of all parents and kids for the contribution you have made to the wellbeing of all of america's children. >> guest: thank you.
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>> that was "after words," book tv signature program and which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policy makers, legislators and others familiar with their material. "after words" years every weekend on booktv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 a.m. on monday. you can also watch "after words" on line. go to booktv.org and click on the "after words" on the book tv series and topics list on the upper right side of the page. >> with a month left in 2012, many publications are putting together their year-end list of notable books. book tv will feature several of these focusing on nonfiction selections. these nonfiction titles were included in the financial times best books of 2012.
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